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People

Principle Investigators

Dr. Tyson G. Harmon

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Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Disorders

I am interested in research that advances behavioral assessment and treatment of adult neurological communication disorders. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how language functioning and recovery after stroke is affected by mood and attention and in learning how to help people with aphasia transfer gains made in therapy to their everyday communication.

Dr. Shawn L. Nissen

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Associate Professor, Department of Communication Disorders

My research interests include the acoustic nature of typical speech production and development, prosody of the professional voice, and using electropalatography to describe and facilitate second language learning. I am also interested in the role of cognition in adult language rehabilitation.

Graduate Student Research Assistants

Cami Williams

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2nd Year MS SLP Student

I'm from Cedar Hills, Utah and have always loved the Utah mountains. I love to read, hike, visit national parks, and support performing arts. I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders from BYU in April of 2021. I'm interested in research that helps adults with neurological communication disorders improve their quality of life, specifically through understanding their psychosocial and communication challenges.

Caleb Sanford

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2nd Year MS SLP Student

I am from Pocatello, Idaho and love to play tennis & piano, go hiking with my wife and son, and attend any college/professional sporting event I can wherever I travel! I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Idaho State University in May of 2021. I previously participated in research on the self-talk habits of people who stutter and am particularly interested in how speech and language disorders interact with the psychosocial components of communication.

Kathryn-Anne Pertab

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2nd Year MS SLP Student

Hey there! I'm from Centerville, UT and recently graduated with my Bachelor's degree from BYU in communication disorders and Portuguese studies. I served a mission in Brazil and did a study abroad in Portugal. I love traveling and anything outdoors! All things relating to language and communication are fascinating to me. I'm excited to work on my thesis with Dr. Harmon and learn more about aphasia!

Emily McDonald

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1st Year MS SLP Student

I am from Spanish Fork, Utah, and some of my favorite things to do include roller skating, yoga, and traveling. I am currently a senior in the Communication Disorders program, and have been working in the Aphasia lab for just over a year. I chose this major because there is so much about communication that impacts our everyday lives. I love working in the lab because it has introduced me to real people, and helped me to better understand how communication disorders can affect peoples everyday experiences. I plan to attend grad school on the east coast, where I hope to learn about more diverse populations, and to use research and human centered design to adapt treatments to more specifically to patients needs.

Undergraduate Student Research Assistants

Sarah Wangsgard

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Lab Manager

I am a senior in the undergraduate Communication Disorders program with a double major in Spanish! I was born and raised in Elk Grove, California, a city close to Sacramento. I served a mission in Barcelona, Spain and am in love with the people, food, and amazing architecture there! I also love to run and am obsessed with playing soccer and watching BYU football games! I am so excited to be working in the Aphasia lab especially because my ultimate goal is to become a bilingual speech pathologist and help patients recovering from strokes or a TBI.

Chloe Chapman Houghton

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Lab Manager

I am from Modesto, California and I love to wakeboard, try new foods, bake, and spend time with my family and friends. I am a Senior here at BYU studying Communication Disorders with a minor in Gerontology. I recently married my best friend Levi in April and have never been happier! I love this field and the potential we have to help patients of all ages achieve the quality of life they desire. When I first started this major, the effects of aphasia and TBI on a patient’s ability to communicate quickly fascinated me, so I am beyond excited to already be involved firsthand in this facet of the field.

Abby Smith

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Lab Manager

I am from South Jordan, UT and I'm currently an undergraduate student in the Communication Disorders program. Some of my hobbies include playing tennis, singing, and playing the piano. I'm interested in anything to do with the brain and I'm excited to be learning more about individuals with neurological communication disorders and how to help them regain important communication in their daily lives.

Carolyn Javadi

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I love to read and travel! I’m from the Oregon Coast, but I’ve loved the change in scenery for my education. I’m a huge BYU fan and love to attend games with friends. I love my family and enjoy exploring the world with them every summer. I decided to study Communication Disorders because I want to be able to help people in a meaningful way someday. I hope to go on to become a speech language pathologist, but I am unsure about my focus at this time. I’m so excited to work in the aphasia lab!

Morgan Jenson

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I was raised in Meridian, Idaho and served a mission in Puerto Rico. My family and I love to travel and get the full cultural experience wherever we go! Some places on my bucket list are: Sweden, Norway, Greece, Costa Rica, and Thailand. I am currently a senior undergraduate in the Communication Disorders Program with the goal of working as a Speech Language Pathologist with Traumatic Brain Injury patients. The brain is absolutely incredible and I take a great interest in how language develops and can be recovered post injury.

Gabby LaLanne

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Hi! My name is Gabby LaLanne. I am from Hemet, California! I am a senior at BYU in the Communication Disorders undergraduate program as well as earning a music minor! Some of my favorite things to do are to travel, sing, go hiking, go to the beach, read, and do things with the people I love. I am interested in the Speech-Language Pathology field for so many reasons. However, in specific, I am primarily excited to help people of all ages be able to communicate with others more effectively. Some of the areas I find most interesting about this program are Aphasia, bilingualism in children, and the brain's function in language.

Francesca Guynn

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I am a senior undergraduate student studying Communication Disorders from New Canaan, Connecticut. I am a lover of volleyball, pickleball, jamming out to music, cooking, floral arranging, and spending time with family. I have loved the opportunity to participate in the Post Traumatic Growth Project, especially since I had an uncle who suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with Broca’s Aphasia. Since beginning my studies in the program, I have grown in knowledge of aphasia and in appreciation for the speech pathologists who aided in his case. I am excited to pursue a career in speech pathology myself, and in the meantime love the opportunity to connect with and learn from incredible individuals with aphasia!

Isabella Kenney

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I am a senior undergraduate majoring in Communication Disorders and minoring in Gerontology. I’m from Yorba Linda, California. A few of my favorite things are visiting national parks, snowmobiling, shopping, and spending time with my family. I love everything about this major, and in the future I hope to work with those recovering from strokes.

Chloe Schelly

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I am from a small mountain town called Idyllwild in Southern California. I am in my third semester in the Communication Disorders program and loving it so far! One of my favorite things is just being with and talking to people. Helping others make those connections and communicate with one another is one of the main reasons that I joined this program. Since I grew up in a mountain, I also enjoy anything that involves being outside and seeing the beauty of the world! I am hoping to focus on people who have differing communication disorders as a result of strokes. The neurology involved in communication absolutely fascinates me and I hope to be able to pursue further research on the topic while here!

Alex Jarvis

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I am from Grants Pass, Oregon. I am a senior studying Exercise Science, and I am preparing to go to medical school with the aim of becoming an otolaryngologist. I have tried a couple majors in my time at BYU, but my first was Communication Disorders. When I started going that direction, I was inspired by the cause of devoting my life's work to bettering the lives of others. It really was what motivated me to pursue medicine and become an ENT, especially when I learned the anatomy involved in the practice and took the Anatomy as a prerequisite course. I have been a TA in the Anatomy lab here at BYU for 5 semesters and love it! I look forward to working in this lab to focus on how we can help others through research regarding aphasia!

Kate Albertelli

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I am a senior in the undergraduate communication disorders program. I’m from Farmington Utah and spent every second I could boating with my friends and family. I also played volleyball all throughout high school and I still love playing on intramural teams here at BYU. My favorite food is truly anything with sugar in it and I could actually eat ice cream for all three meals of the day. I got married a year and a half ago to my best friend and we just barely got a puppy this last May. I love this major and my goal is to eventually work in the hospital helping patients through post-stroke recovery.

Kate Moulton

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I'm from Athens, Ohio, and I'm studying Communication Disorders at BYU. I served a mission in Tempe, Arizona speaking Spanish. I love mountain biking, dogs, pottery, and sports! This is my fourth year playing ultimate frisbee for BYU, and it's a blast and a half. I am passionate about helping people achieve their goals and connect with one another! I plan to pursue a master's degree in speech-language pathology and work with stroke and traumatic brain injury patients. I'm so excited to work in the Aphasia Lab on the Post-Traumatic Growth project. I've got lots to learn and lots of energy to give to this project!

Brooklyn Fowers

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My name is Brooklyn and I'm a Junior in the Communication Disorders program. I grew up in Logan, Utah and love small town vibes. I am the youngest of five siblings and an aunt now to seven nieces and nephews whom I adore! I love camping, backpacking, hiking, skiing, yoga, and eating lots of ice-cream. I plan to graduate from BYU in Communication Disorders and continue on to get a masters in Speech Language Pathology. I'm extremely interested in studying Aphasia and would love to help post-stroke patients in the future as an SLP.

Emma Loudin

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Hi there! I am the oldest of three girls and grew up in a small town in West Virginia. I decided to move West after serving my mission in the Utah Layton Mission. I love hiking, running, embroidering, and spending time with my friends and family. Currently, I am a Junior in the Communication Disorders undergraduate program. Aphasia can be a difficult diagnosis to understand and treat. I am excited to learn more about it and its effects to one day provide quality treatment in rural communities as I pursue a career in Medical Speech Pathology.

June Oaks

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I am from Provo Utah and am a Junior in the Communication Disorders major, aiming to become a Speech and Language Pathologist. I love how the COMD major ties together many things I love, such as my love of sound and music, my love of language, and my love of helping people! I enjoy fiddling, painting, learning Dutch, and trying new things! A new skill I’m currently learning is Irish dance. I’m very excited to work with amazing people and learn more about aphasia in this lab. My goal is to go to grad school to become a Speech and Language Pathologist.